A new report from Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman claims that President Donald Trump would desperately like to be rid of chief of staff John Kelly — but he fears pulling the trigger because no one else who is qualified seems to want the job.
One source tells Sherman that the fight over Kelly’s tenure in the White House has descended into a “death match” between different factions vying for influence in the Trump White House.
“Factions inside and outside the White House are lobbying Trump to go with other potential choices,” writes Sherman. “The battle to decide who could replace Kelly has reopened the deep fissures in Trump’s divided West Wing.”
Sherman also says that Trump has reached out to potential replacements for Kelly — but he’s so far found few willing takers.
One White House adviser tells Sherman that Trump would prefer to see Mick Mulvaney take over the job, although the director of the Office of Management and Budget so far has shown no indication that he would agree to do so.
“Mulvaney doesn’t want it — his goal is run for governor or land a corporate gig,” the adviser says. “And his thinking is, if you’re Trump’s chief of staff, you stain yourself for the future.”